Home Staging – A Part of Home Moving
Although “Staging” is the buzzword, we now hear regularly with Real Estate, the concept of staging has been around for many years.
The first people to use the process of staging a home for sale were builders. They recognized that it was tough for people to connect with an empty house. By staging the house in a welcoming and inviting way, they discovered that potential buyers would form emotions with the house and increase sales. It became their primary marketing tool, and the entire building industry changed.
As the style of homes changed from the simple bungalow to today’s custom-built homes, builders realized they also had to change the process of how show homes were staged. It was no longer just a matter of putting a few furniture pieces in a room and some art on the wall. They had to hire professionals who knew how to best use space, with the right size furniture, and showed options for how the extra rooms (such as lofts, the home office, or study and bonus rooms) could be used.
Making that emotional connection between the potential buyer and the house becomes the most important thing of all. Is Staging just a fad promoted by television?
The onslaught of shows on HGTV and DIY channels has promoted staging in the resale market. Unfortunately, they are promoting it as a new trend in depersonalizing your home for sale. The theory behind this is that people don’t want to move into someone else’s house. They want to buy a place that is special to them. While I partially agree with this theory, I believe much of what is suggested or taught misses the point.
While the potential buyer is looking for a home for them, it is still the “Emotional Connect” that leads them to choose to buy. Depersonalizing a home to the point of a minimalist can feel cold and unwelcoming. Staging a home to show it at its best potential and warmth rather than an open slate can bridge that sale faster.
Then there are the DIY shows that tell us that anyone can stage their home for sale by following these simple rules. While this can certainly help, unless you have a good grasp of spatial understanding, an understanding of how colors work with emotions, and a right eye for balance and design principles, you may be left overwhelmed and unprepared, ending up with the same thing you started with. Ultimately, in most cases, if you knew how to do it, you would have already done it.
What is the difference between Staging a home for sale and staging a home for a living?
This is easily explained. When Staging a home for living, it’s all about you about your lifestyle, the things in life you value, and honoring those things. Staging a home for sale is all about preparing a home to sell for the most money in the shortest time possible. Your taste in color and décor are not necessary. The décor and colors that are in style and desired by the widest selection of new home-buyers will sell the house faster.
Why is Staging more critical now than ever?
While it is always important to present your home at its best to sell, it is even more important in a balanced or buyers market. When the market has more homes listed to sell than buyers to buy, your home has to stand out above all competition if you want to make that sale.
Bringing in a professional staging company can help you prepare your home to show at its best. First and foremost, do your homework; cheapest is not always the best, nor is the most expensive. Look for reputable companies (preferably registered with the BBB and affiliated with respected Staging Associations). Look at testimonials and view photos, etc. Then, meet and talk with a Staging professional.
Most come in for a “free evaluation walkthrough” before giving a quote. This is the perfect time to “interview” the staging company. If you connect with the stagers, and you’ve looked at their work, it’s probably a good fit.
There are many options available to you as a homeowner when preparing your home to sell. The staging company can come in and provide a “room by room” recommendation report. I highly recommend using a company that offers both a verbal walkthrough and a written statement. Statistics show that people usually only remember 20% of what is heard versus 100% when written. This is generally done for the do-it-yourself personality (often custom packages can be prepared for the individual client, who may want to do part, but not all).
It is also not always necessary to remove all your furniture etc. And redecorate with rental furniture. Usually, the staging professionals can recommend areas that can be “improved.” This can be completed with rental furniture while you use your own.
Finally, there is the option of “vacant staging” if the homeowner plans to move into their new home before selling the current home. Many companies offer complete rental furniture and accessories to fully furnish the vacant home (showing the home’s potential rather than potential flaws)